It’s no surprise that everyone nowadays take to farm games like fish take to water. Everybody is after that sense of achievement that you can get in helping something grow. But you know. Without spending the actual trouble of having to deal with all its messy complications.
A big chunk of how games are recognized now are in the form of Big Farm from Goodgame Studios. It’s simple to play, has so-so graphics, focused on granting achievements and has premium items which can make the game easier. Such is the way of the freemium game. As long as people eat these kinds of things up, I doubt that we’ll see the end of such games in the near future. It’s not all that innovative but fun is fun. So I can’t really deny that there are people that like games that simply take their minds off the daily grind.
What is Big Farm?
Big Farm is an online flash game that’s touted as a farming simulator. You are given a dilapidated farm to work with which you will develop into a giant multinational farm corporation (or so I would like to believe). And that’s pretty much it. Although you do have to give the game a bit of thought when it comes to strategizing and managing your time, I can see that you can achieve similar results if you just keep on pointing and clicking your way to eventual growth. For the impatient ones, the option to buy your way through the game is wide open. It would make the developers super happy but you can still enjoy VR farming without spending any of your hard-earned real money. Unless you really want it. Different strokes and all.
How Now Brown Cow?
The game teaches you as you go along. Controls are simple. Point and click. Stuff happens. As with any task oriented, resource gathering, development simulation – all it takes is time. Tutorials are built in. The first character you meet is your neighbor who will explain to you the basic run of things. The game is more about micromanagement than just simple task completion. The steps towards victory would be the following: you set up your farm, do tasks, earn XP and currency, unlock abilities and expand your farm. That’s the whole bit in a nutshell. As with any freemium game, you have the option to fast track your progress by buying upgrades using real money. Yay.
Each process on the farm can be upgraded individually according to how you want your farm to run. And you continue onwards until you get past all of the game’s built-in story mode missions. Pretty standard fare with all farming simulations thus far. The game offers a nice twist on the genre though by introducing fluctuating market prices for the crops you sell and employee satisfaction. The happier they are, the more efficient your farm becomes in terms of production capacity. Besides this, there’s no real innovative take-off for Big Farm’s gameplay that would make it memorable.
So be a good farmer and take care of your crops, livestock and helpers. You’ll get the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow eventually. This is what Big Farm is all about. I don’t have much else to say about gameplay.
What more does it offer?
As you can see, I don’t harbor much love for unoriginal games. But I once again stress that this particular game niche still has a huge market going for it. It’s just a matter of waiting to see which one will be picked up by the majority. Big Farm has two major things going for it in my opinion and one of them I’m not even sure if it’s a strong enough selling point. The first one would be the fact that you are free to build your farm however you like. You are not forced into specific quests unless they were made to guide you in how to set down the foundation for your farm. The second one would be the “multiplayer” option. I put it in quotation marks because it’s quite limited. You have the option to “show-off” your farms to other players in the server, join in on a cooperative to earn more money and compete for reputation points. Besides earning more money through the cooperative function – the satisfaction and reward in participating in multiplayer is highly dependent on the community. There’s no inherent reward attached to the idea of playing with somebody else in this game.
I can say that the graphics and music are slightly above average though? But some of the effort that went there can be overshadowed by the fact that this is a purely numbers based game. Sure you can decorate your farm but only production rate and sales will matter in the end. The NPCs you meet also suffer from being treated as mere speed bumps along your road to farming greatness. They function as the task masters of the game with their background stories but most of it is lost in a haze of clicks. It doesn’t really matter if you know their backstory or not. You finish the task then you get paid.
If you’re looking to kill some time, have a penchant for farming and are interested in comparing how your production of crop differs versus other players who also own farms, then this is the game for you. I personally look for three things in a game, story, customization options and a clear objective. This game does not have a story per se nor a clear objective for me. So for gamers like me, this seems like a simple time sink. It does however have an impressive amount of customization options available for a farming simulator. And I also applaud their decision to drop the constant pop-up option to request for lives, energy or special items from friends. It makes me feel like I have the choice to invite them if I truly believe that they would like the game versus what’s happening right now where that option ends up annoying people on social networks.
Big Farm is one of those games I would recommend to people who generally have a lot of time on their hands and would like the option to play a game for an indefinitely long period. My verdict on this game as a reviewer is that I would not continue playing this game for more than I already have. My take on it may change if more functionalities are added that will make use of the “multiplayer system” that they started. Nobody has done that yet. But how do you go head to head on a farming game? How do two players push forward each of their agendas? Maybe a mini-game can be introduced that has separate functions from the main game but has a reward that greatly boosts your game experience? I don’t know. These are questions for the developer to ponder upon and maybe take into consideration for their next attempt at a freemium game.
Till next time.